Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Jamie sets pace on bike that was top 10 hit at TT

Emerging talent Jamie Coward topped the practice session at the Manx Grand Prix with an impressive 118.336mph lap on the very same machine that Roy Richardson campaigned to a top 10 finish at this year’s Isle of Man TT Festival.

Richardson was also on the leaderboard in the Junior Post Classic, lapping at 105.947mph on a 1990 TZ Yamaha, with Manx-based Glengormley rider Brian Mateer and Derek Glass the only other machines lapping at over 100mph — 102mph and 100mph respectively.

Stephen McKnight was the pick of the local runners, albeit almost a minute down on the time of Coward with a lap of 112.572mph — he was also R6 Yamaha mounted in the Junior Manx class.

Swedish rider Bjorn Gunnarsson set the quickest time in the Newcomers A category, lapping at 106.904mph.

But Antrim’s John Simpson was only 23 seconds down on the Scandinavian with an impressive lap of 105.023mph on his Splitlath Redmond Racing 675 Triumph.

Russ Mountford was the stand-out performer in the Classic Superbike category last night on the machine of choice amongst the front-runners — an XR69 Suzuki.

Mountford’s lap of 112.380mph puts him at the top of the practice leaderboard.

Manxman Dan Kneen, also XR69 mounted, posted the next best time of the session at 110.072mph, with Johnny Barton third at 108mph on a 1985 GSX-R750.

Trevor Ferguson topped the Supertwin timesheets at 106.800mph on his nephew Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki.

Farquhar was cruising on the big Paton in the Classic 500cc class, well off the pace in last night’s session.

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Ducati have confirmed Andrea Dovizioso as Valentino Rossi's replacement on a two-year contract.

Seven-time MotoGP world champion Rossi is to leave the Italian manufacturer at the end of the year to return to Yamaha after a miserable two-season spell.

Britain's Cal Crutchlow was among the contenders to get the ride, but instead his current Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Dovizioso will fill the vacancy.

Crutchlow started the season strongly but has been outperformed by Dovizioso in recent races, the former factory Honda rider picking up five podium finishes so far, the latest coming at Indianapolis last weekend.

Rossi will partner championship leader Jorge Lorenzo at Yamaha.